Everyone is encouraged to look at online customer reviews before purchasing products because they enable buyers to get a good idea of what the products are really like. But unfortunately, many products use fake reviews to boost their sales. However, there are several ways of telling whether reviews are legitimate or not.
Look for Verified Purchases
On many sites, such as Amazon, reviews will be accompanied by the words “Verified Purchase” when the reviewer has genuinely bought the product from the platform. When reviews are not verified purchases, it is more likely they are fake.
Look at Other Reviews on Trusted Platforms
To get a good idea as to whether reviews for a product are genuine, look on other sites besides the platform you are using to buy the product. For example, if there are an unusual amount of positive product reviews on Amazon, you can look on forums like Reddit to see whether reviewers are as positive. You can also use sites like Buyer’s Guide to find trusted products via data-driven information.
Look at the Number of Reviews and When They Were Posted
If a product has an unusually high number of reviews compared to similar products on the same platform, you will want to exercise caution; especially when those reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Also, examine the timing of the reviews. If you see a spike in the number of reviews posted within a short timeframe, it is likely many of the reviews are fake. However, there are exceptions. More genuine reviews tend to be posted after key dates like Black Friday and Christmas when purchases are higher.
Be Wary of Lots of Reviews for Unknown Brands
Many unknown brands could be legitimate small startups that are trying to find an audience in a crowded marketplace. But others take shortcuts by posting fake reviews to jump higher up the listings on platforms like Amazon. If you do not recognize the brand for the product you are interested in buying, check online to see if the company has a genuine-looking website with clear contact details.
Watch Out for Generic Profiles
Many fake reviews come from faceless companies that push bulk reviews on a platform under different accounts. One way of spotting bulk reviews that have been purchased is to look at the user names and profiles of each account that has left a review. When reviews are left by people with generic names like John Smith or just a combination of letters and numbers, a lot of the time they will not be legitimate. Also, profiles that do not have accompanying photographs are more likely to be fake.
Look for Repetition of Phrases
When numerous fake reviews are written by the same person, they are easier to spot because they typically use repeated phrases. When the same types of words and phrases are used, it is likely they have been either written by one person or they have been written by numerous people who have been instructed by the company to use specific sentences and words. If there are consistent spelling and grammatical mistakes, it is another telltale sign that the reviews are not legitimate.
Check Out Reviewers’ Other Product Reviews
One good way of determining which reviews are genuine is to look at the other reviews specific accounts have posted. If the profile has bought and reviewed many similar products and has always left glowing reviews, it could be a sign the reviewer is not legitimate. For instance, if someone has purchased ten packs of batteries in a short timeframe and left positive reviews for them all, it is pretty likely the reviews are not real.